Saturday, December 31, 2016

Goodbye 2016 ~Descanso Gardens ~ Enchanted Forest of Light and 2016 Goodbyes

I don't want my life to imitate art, I want my life to be art.
~Carrie Fisher

Descanso Gardens
Enchanted Forest of Light
La CaƱada Flintridge, California
through January 8th

It's New Years Eve, and it was a tough year for a lot of people. There was a lot of pain and loss in the world this year, and personal losses and heartbreak, as well.  But there were moments to treasure and gifts for a lot of us to be grateful for. For those who's loss is unbearable, we hold them in our hearts and send them light and prayers.

This was something I'd been wanted to do for years. I've been to Descanso Gardens in the spring to see the flowers bloom, for the camellias and the lilacs, but not for their Enchanted Forest of Light. It was a cool night, (for Southern California) with a chilling wind, and the ground was soggy from the rain, but it was a beautiful mile long walk amongst the lights ...

Every day I feel is a blessing from God.
And I consider it a new beginning.
Yeah, everything is beautiful.

If only life could be a little more tender
and art a little more robust.
~Alan Rickman

As you walk around the base of the trees and over the lights, they change color ...

By the little lake there are the light wands that change there patterns and colors, dancing in the dark ...

And more lights over the lake ,,,

You'll never find peace of mind until you listen to your heart.
~George Michael

Below, was something that was so magical but almost impossible to photograph with an iPhone. Millions of tiny points of light that reminded me of energy, or of the earlier, magical part of Avatar before it turned into an action film.

The opposite of love is not hate,
it's indifference.
~Elie Wiesel

You never really understand a person
until you consider things from his point of view.
~Harper Lee

~A man who has no imagination has no wings.
Muhammad Ali

Time is a precious thing.
Never waste it.
~Gene Wilder

Change comes from listening,
~Gwen Ifill

We must always take sides.
Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.
Silence encourage the tormentor, never the tormented.
~Elie Wiesel

A film, a piece of theatre, a piece of music,
or a book can a difference. It can change the world.
~Alan Rickman

Karen and I at Descanso. I love that she's up for anything!

Bowie by Lucille
(done before Bowie's passing)

Kids' views are often just as valid as the teachers'. 
The best teachers are the ones that know that.
~Morley Safer

Bowie, by Finnan in 2013

Bowie and Finn

Bowie on Stage, by Veronica, age 5

Bowie was Veronica's favorite. She came to class on her birthday wearing silver pants. A birthday she shared with David Bowie.

Prince, by Eleven, age 15

A strong spirit transcends rules.

Sweet Keya and her portrait of Bowie from 2015

There have been so many portraits over the years of Bowie and Prince, Muhammad Ali, R2D2 and others, that I didn't have photos of or couldn't find, but I find these very moving.

I'm blessed to work with these little sparks of light and that I have so many great people in my life.  I was going through photos of this past year and it was good to focus on the positive and be grateful for the good things that happened. Some of the good just sort of "happened" and then some of those things were things I made happen. 
So ... there's that. ;)

End of year slideshow ...

I don't know where I'm going from here, but I promise it won't be boring.
~David Bowie

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmastime in Los Angeles ~ Rodeo Drive and Pasadena

Blessed is the season 
which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.
~Hamilton Wright Mabie

Last week I met my Lauren over on Canon Drive in Beverly Hills, for happy hour. Yes, there's even happy hour in Beverly Hills, at Wolfgang's Steakhouse. You can get lobster sliders for 9 bucks before 8pm! Shhhhh! 

A little music to set the Christmas mood ...

Yes! Rain in L.A.! Below, Lauren in front of the cute little sweets shop where were hoping to get a treat to celebrate my birthday, but alas they were closed! We realized I never did the whole wishing on a candle thing!

But we found an Italian place, Via Alloro on the corner of Canon and Dayton Way and as luck would have it, they had a delicious chocolate lava cake! Here, I am waiting in anticipation and modeling my new leather gloves I bought online, on Black Friday. Neiman Marcus Last Call, their outlet online. They're like butta! 

After the yummy cake, Lauren had to take off but I wanted to walk along Rodeo and look in the windows. I mean, if you are going to window shop, go big right? So, I went past Brooks Brothers ...

And over to Rodeo Drive.

It was lightly raining, and the stores were closed, but the Christmas music was still playing over the street speakers! It was one of those moments where you feel like you're walking through a scene in a Hollywood movie.

Window at Valentino. The entire dress is beautifully beaded!

Ralph Lauren. The horses might be a tip off. Those were actually video screens.

Fabulous little Italians, at Ferragamo!

And more fabulously Italian windows at Dolce and Gabbana!

Jimmy Choo

Agent Provocateur

And there's Via Rodeo, the little footpath street off Rodeo!

I'm not sure if this was a sparkly selfie booth or some little spot for Santa?

The stairs when you come out the other side ...

And it's opposite the Beverly Wilshire Hotel they used as the "Regent Beverly Wilshire," in Pretty Woman.

Where Rodeo and Wilshire meet, there's a Tiffany Store. These windows were actually quite small and in Miniature. So cute!

A tiny Rockefeller Center ...

At this point the rain was coming down a bit harder so I headed to the parking garage and finished my Wilshire Window tour from the comfort of my little red Mini.

Wilshire is where all the big department stores are like Barney's, Saks and Neiman's. These, I think were Saks.

And more Italians, all wrapped up for Christmas!

Sunday, my friend Karen was meeting friends at the Langham Huntington in Pasadena. More happy hour, but playing dress-up, as well! It's swanky.

This is the Tap Room bar.

When we got there, it was pretty lively but by the time we left it had cleared out, except for a few people here and there that were probably staying at the hotel.

Karen and me in front of their lovely tree!

Biggest eyelashes I've ever worn when it wasn't Halloween!

My own little tree!

Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories
and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year
for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.
~Laura Ingalls Wilder

Merry Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah! 
Big blessings and much light!